Manchester agency celebrates adoptions approved during the pandemic

A Manchester-based adoption agency has held celebration events for adoptions granted during pandemic – although nearly 2,000 children are still waiting to be adopted across England. 

During the pandemic, families were unable to attend adoption celebration events, where adoptive families can visit the court and meet the judge who presents a certificate after an adoption order has been granted.

Agency Adoption Matters invited families from across the north of England, Stoke and Shropshire for the celebratory events, which were held in Warrington, Leeds, Blackburn and Durham, to offer something to the families who missed out on this celebration.

Adoption Matters chief executive Susy White said: “Adoption celebration events are such an important event for adopters.

“Most families have their own ways of celebrating their adoption milestones each year but we really wanted to offer our families who missed out on their court celebration events a special moment for them and their extended families and friends.”

Between March 2019 and early 2022, just over 160 adoption orders were granted for Adoption Matters families during the pandemic, and they were all invited to attend these events.

The celebrations offered a variety of activities for families and children, marked with a commemorative tree planting. 

Durham’s commemorative adoption celebration tree

However, according to Adoption Matters, there are still just under 1,900 vulnerable children waiting to be adopted across England right now.

The government launched its National Adoption Strategy last summer, to tackle how long children wait in care, and figures have shown adoptions are on the rise since then, with a 23% increase in the number of families approved to adopt, from September 2020 to September 2021.

In March 2022, then education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “We launched our National Adoption Strategy last summer, and I’m really encouraged to see it is already having a meaningful impact on the adoption system across the country.”

But while the number of approved families rose, the number of children who were actually adopted from care fell to its lowest level in 21 years between 2020 and 2021, according to the Department for Education.

Adoption Matters has revealed their families have had over 50 adoption orders granted since February 2022.

Main image: Adoption Matters patron Norman Goodwin CBE and chief executive Susy White present an adoption certificate to a child attending the event for Cheshire- and Manchester-based families in Warrington

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